[xmca] ISCAR in Sevilla -- loose impressions

From: Ana Marjanovic-Shane (ana@zmajcenter.org)
Date: Fri Sep 30 2005 - 07:45:21 PDT

Sun and narrow streets. Houses in yellow and white, blue and white,
stone and white... Cobblestones... Built in mill stones... Alcazar,
churches, former mosques, synagogues...
Time long lost is maybe trapped in these walls. Or not? Everything is
tailor made for tourists. Restaurants, shops, stands... And it is
captivating. A jewel of a city.

And ISCAR! More than 800 participants in 4 and half days! Crowds of
faces -- unknown and known! Celebrities and friends. Faces on names from
XMCA list...

The program which is almost like an APA or AERA program: pages and pages
long. More that 15 sessions at the same time. Changes in the program...
Some people must be divisible: they are in three or more sessions in two
or more buildings at the same time!! And some are even flying at the
same time!

There are frustrations: too little time to say what you want to
present.. Too little time to have more discussions from the audience..
Too many sessions you want to go to, but they are at the same time.
Trying to run from one session to another, missing important things. The
order of presentations was changed... People you would really love to be
introduced to and have a chance to discuss important things with them,
but there is no time, no chance...

Sudden unexpected revelations! I never thought of that! Of course!
Are we changing this model? Too many triangles? Or too little? Circles
would be better? Arrows, maybe? How to capture dynamics?
Is this conference connected to the reality at all? Look at what is
going on in the world and is anyone addressing it? How can we continue
like this and not look with open eyes?

Do you remember me? Oooh! Yes... You are.. I was in your session in the
conference... in 1995... Thank you for coming to my poster session.
Look, there! I hope she throws a look over here. I know that my
presentation is relevant if only it could get enough attention...

Mmmm! What is this? I don't know, but it tastes great. The wine is
good... It's so nice to be able to sit together. I am very interested in
your understanding of time, time scales of an activity. I once wrote a
paper only on time scales and the imagined history... Yes? You think
that time itself is a socially mediated concept? Quite possible. That
puts my thoughts in another light. Could you pass me some butter? Time
is a complex thing to study. And of course, we never really capture the
dynamics... (I don't even know it it is possible). What kind of unit can
reflect time and dynamic?

Dynamics of a conference... What sessions can I get to? What is next?
Let me see... this program is so heavy. And what is tonight? Should I go
and change or just hang here?
I think I'll just hang here. I think I'll start telling you everything
from every session I went to, even if it was the last sentence of a
speech I did not hear. But the sentence was great. Here, I wrote it down
just for you:

"Mediation: it should bring the world into view for us; not be in the
way, between us and the world."

This is just a beginning. First faint strokes on a canvas. How long does
it take to digest a conference of this magnitude? How long does it take
to become hungry again? Can we eat the cake and still have it?

All of this is meant to start you up, to make you share your serious and
silly, inspired and bored remarks and analyzes of ISCAR at Sevilla.
My next, more analytic e-mail will follow later.


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